Saturday, October 16, 2010

The pictures tell a different story

There is a vital distinction between adult hospitals and children's hospitals.  Adult hospitals are icky and scary.  I limit my trips to the main hospital for emergency purposes only.  And by that I do not mean actual emergencies where I would likely get in the way.  My emergencies are my ID not working properly last week or my issued office key being on a Schneider-esque key ring that barely fit in my purse let alone my pocket.

Here are some friends at the Wisconsin-Ohio St. game
Traveling around with this giant key ring has been like walking around all day every day with the key to the gas station bathroom.  I'd go so far as to say it was a keyman's keyring in scope and practice, incongruously carrying one sad and lonely key.  And it's hard to feel like you're really making a difference in children's lives with a giant key ring bearing only one key.  A call to plant engineering led me to the hospital key shop....thus entering a realm we call, "The Twilight Zone."

"Key Shop, this is Kevin."   
"Hey good morning!  How are ya?  *silence*  Yeah, so anyway, I'm a new nurse over here in the children's clinics and the office key I was issued is on a giant key ring that I can't seem to remove."
"Well what's the number on the key?"
"Huh? Um....24"
"A 24?  Why do you have a 24 key?"
"Well, it's what they gave me and it opens my office door."
"You shouldn't have a 24 key.  Are you with housekeeping?"
"Um. No."
"We're going to need you to turn that key in and get a new one."

Here are Chip and his friends at the Wisconsin-Ohio St. game
I wish the conversation had gone even that smoothly, but the above is just a condensation for flavor of the very circular discussion that went on longer than I care to remember.  I came to the conclusion, however, that I had in my possession a master key.  So off to the key shop to handle this breach in national security and more practically, bad key ring etiquette.

The key shop is not only in the bowels of the hospital but I'd go so far as to say it's in the rectum.  Traveled to only by an elevator requiring keyed entry that goes to the shallow mantle of the earth's crust.  Luckily, lots of guys in blue shirts with their names sewn on patches on their pockets use the elevator and take great care to escort and protect a princess along her journey from the dragons or pirates or who knows really what lurks below. And I don't think they get to see a whole lot of women during the day in this particular part of the hospital.  I got more than a few second looks of a curious nature, not so common or comfortable for a woman of a certain age.   I do believe if there had been a puddle along the way, one of the nice men would have thrown a drop cloth over it for me to cross.  However, sexual assault also briefly crossed my mind.

Yesterday I went to see Donna Shalala speak at the Union Theater next to the Red Gym.  Donna is also at the game probably sitting with Barry Alvarez.  I'm home blogging.  Am I making good choices?

NO no, just kidding.  After a journey akin to several weeks of a good Prince Valiant storyline I reached the key shop, ironically secured by a keyless numbered entry pad on the door.  Argus Filch looked up from his workbench.

"Hi.  I called earlier to have my key replaced.  Are you Kevin?"
"Okay, well, I'm turning this key in  because it's stuck on this ridiculously large key ring."
"I think Kevin was supposed to make me a new key."
"Hmm....I don't see it."
*pregnant pause*
"Okay...well, I'm going to need to take the key back then because it's my only key."
"Okay, here you go." 
*pregnant pause*
"So, I'm stuck with this giant key ring, huh?"
"Oh, you don't want the key ring?"
SMASH SMASH SMASH.  Three mallet hits and the key ring broke apart.  He wordlessly returned the key to my hand.

"Well thanks, that was easy.  I guess I could have just run over it with my car. Ha ha ha"  
*third and final pregnant pause* 
"Yeah, so is it okay for me to keep this key?  Kevin seemed to have a problem with it having a 24 on it."
"Does it work ok?"
"uhhh, yes."
"Then you should take it because you're going to need it to get in your office."

Alrighty then.  What doors await!


  1. Who's number one now? On Wisconsin!

  2. Don't feel bad for Julie. She has turned down many chances to go to Badgers games. Some day she will go to one.

  3. Take me -- I'd love to go! (Happy for Badgers today -- woot)

  4. I think you should make more visits to that part of the hospital. They seem to need your peppy spirit and quick whit!